Southwestern Randolph beats Midway via run rule in 2A softball opener

Southwestern Randolph beats Midway via run rule in 2A softball opener

Southwestern Randolph continued its dominance in the 2A ranks in the opening game of the N.C. High School Athletic Association state softball championship series Friday night, dropping Midway 13-0 in five innings before a sell out crowd.

The Cougars (22-7) need one win on Saturday to capture the state title in the Best-of-3 series. Game 2 is set for 2 p.m. on Saturday back at the UNC Greensboro Softball Complex. Game 3 would follow later in the day if needed.

Southwestern has now outscored its opponents 31-1 in the state playoffs, giving up just one run in 60 innings of play. (The Cougars needed 13 innings to beat North Stanly in Game 2 of the Western Regional Championship Series.)

Already up 2-0 after two innings, the Cougars’ 7-8-9 batters (Nautica Parrish, Hayleigh Thompson and Lileigh Payne) drew walks to open the top of the third. The next five batters drove in runs, running the lead to 10-0. Madelyn Smith doubled in two runs to start the scoring, then Kami Dunn, Alyssa Harris and Macie Crutchfield followed with run-scoring hits. Maddie Strider’s two-run single extended the lead to 9-0. Thompson finished off the eight-spot with a two-out RBI single.

As much as productive at-bats have been a part of the Cougars’ season (six of Southwestern’s starters sport batting averages over .300 on the season), the pitching has been just as impressive. It was again Friday night.

Macie Crutchfield was a bunt single – by the Raiders’ Mia Gywnn – away from recording a perfect game against a Midway (21-4) team that was averaging 9.54 runs a contest. The loss was the Raiders’ first since April 25.

Harris drove in another run with a fourth-inning single to run the lead to 11-0 before Strider added a two-run double to finish off the scoring.

Dunn (3-for-4, 3 runs), Harris (3-for-4, 2 doubles), Crutchfield (3-for-4, 3 RBIs) and Strider (3-for-4, 5 RBIs, 2 doubles) all had three-hit nights.

The Cougars grabbed a 1-0 lead in their first at bat, with Macie Crutchfield driving in Harris with a two-out RBI single. Harris doubled with two outs to reach base.

Southwestern threatened to score again in the second but an interference call ended the inning with two runners on base. An inning later, Strider doubled in Dunn with two outs to push the lead to 2-0.

The Cougars have allowed just 40 runs (1.38 per game) on the season.

The NCHSAA sportsmanship awards were presented to Midway’s Lillian Payne and Southwestern’s Peyton Herring before the game, while Southwestern’s Jayden Alexander sang the National Anthem before the series opener.